Violence and looting escalates in South Africa as Zuma jailed

July 13, 2021: South Africa has deployed troops to quell violence following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma on Monday, killing at least six people in the days leading up to the riots.

Police say the riots escalated when Zuma challenged his 15-month prison sentence in the country’s highest court. Pro-Zuma demonstrations that he handed over last week turned into looting and arson, especially in KwaZulu-Natal but also in Guateng, where the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, is located.

The Guateng provincial government and an independent pharmacy association said some of the vaccine sites and clinics in Kuwait 19 in Gینtting and KwaZulu-Natal had been closed due to safety concerns, adding that it had launched an affordable immunization campaign. He said while delaying.

“What we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality, with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a late-evening address on Monday.

He said that 489 suspects have been arrested in both the provinces and all government agencies have been mobilized. “We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these acts and ensure that they face the full force of our law.” He warned that looting of shopping malls, disruption of pharmacies and supply to China could lead to shortages of food and medicine in the coming weeks, as well as disruption of corona vaccination campaign.

A statement from the military said, “Prior to the appointment, the operation has been launched following a request from the government intelligence body.” Any clashes with the military run the risk of being fueled by accusations from Zuma and his supporters that they are politically motivated by his successor, Ramphosa. Zuma, 79, was convicted late last month of violating a Constitutional Court order that he be given evidence to investigate allegations of high-level corruption during his nine-year term until 2018.

The decision to jail him resulted from legal proceedings seen as a test of post-apartheid South Africa’s ability to enforce the rule of law, including against powerful politicians.

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